Fish Out of Water

Musings and observations about life from an East Coast native now living on the Left Coast in the California State Capitol since 2004. This fish has made her home in Madison, WI (7 years); Portland, OR (2 years); Las Vegas, NV (7 months); Middlebury, VT (3 summers); Marne-la-Vallee, a small town east of Paris, France (6 months); Middletown, CT (3 years); and Marshfield, MA, the fish's coastal hometown 40 miles south of Boston (17 years).

Location: Sacramento, California, United States


Day 50: Bateson Building

Many of the buildings in downtown Sacramento, especially near and around the State Capitol, are home to various state departments and divisions.  An advantage to this is that the blocks right around our townhouse complex tend to be rather quiet during the evenings and weekends, since the busiest times are during the typical state workday and workweek.

Diagonally across from us, occupying the entire block bounded by 9th & 8th and P & Q, is the Bateson Building.  This photo shows a piece of the building at the corner of 9th & P:

We noticed this structure shortly after moving into our townhouse, primarily due to its rather distinctive golden orange outer shell, which is formed by a series of retractable shades that raise and lower depending on the time of day.  When the sun is bright, the shades look very yellow, almost luminous:

I walk by this building almost every day, at least once, on my way to and from the gym.  I always wondered how the shades were controlled, if folks in certain offices could adjust them individually, but I'm thinking that they're on a more automated system, as they suddenly began lowering this morning (Sunday) just before 9am as I headed to the gym.

When I was looking for images of the building online, I found a web site from McGraw-Hill Construction about different types of window engineering to both provide light and also decrease energy usage.  And the Bateson building was cited as an example:  At the Gregory Bateson Building, in Sacramento, California, motorized external shades help protect occupants from the sun's rays and heat.

I'd always wondered what the interior of the building was like, if it was anything innovative and interesting like the exterior or if it was just a standard boring office environment.  Based on this image, it looks as though it might be a rather pleasant place to work, even if the majority of the office spaces are likely composed of a typical cube farm:

It's reassuring to see that at least some architects and designers might actually consider the experience of the folks who spend much of their day in a building in order to create a pleasing workspace.


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